Goal Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Childline and Musasa, and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched UPLIFT/SIMUDZA, a 12-month, US$3,3 million project to assist over 15,000 people with cash assistance for six months and provide support to children and women impacted by protection related issues in Mbare.
The project will also support establishment or re-establishment of 800 small businesses and seeks to increase food security and help households suffering from the economic impacts of Covid-19.
The Country Director for GOAL Zimbabwe, Gabriella Prandini, highlighted that the planned activities will address food security and will offer protection services at household, community, and service provider levels to provide a comprehensive approach.
“We are coming in with an integrated package of assistance to address household and business needs. This much-needed project will increase the food security status and reduce protection risks of vulnerable urban households while supporting the recovery of income-generating activities for families whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Precious Taru, Director for Musasa Project, further explained that the project will work on social behavior change activities to reduce the effects of GBV in Mbare.
“The project will address social norms that perpetuate violence. Our priority will be to provide a comprehensive response package for survivors of violence and utilize the GBV referral network,” Taru said.
Childline’s National Director Stella Motsi welcomed the project’s undertaking saying it will provide services through our 116 free phone hotline, offer psychosocial support to victims of abuse and support parenting initiatives that promote better living amongst families.
“The project comes at a time when children’s vulnerabilities have increased and thus the need to create safety nets to protect children,” she said.
“The physical and psychological safety of women, girls, and children is of utmost importance.”
GOAL Zimbabwe, Childline, and Musasa will work alongside key stakeholders in the Public Service, the Women’s Affairs Ministry and the Mbare Local Government to identify vulnerable households unable to meet their basic needs.
UPLIFT/SIMUDZA will provide active referrals and case management for households with a protection risk while integrating messaging on child protection and GBV to the wider community.
“USAID is pleased to support this response to the rising food insecurity and increasing cases of violence in Mbare,” said USAID/Zimbabwe Acting Mission Director, Mike McCord.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already declining economic environment, causing many to struggle to meet their basic needs. This assistance will help families make choices regarding what they want to eat, help them start viable income-generating projects, and enable them to create an environment that is safe for children and survivors of violence.”
“The United States remains committed to the people of Zimbabwe. During the pandemic, we will continue to prioritize our critical health and life-saving humanitarian assistance activities, such as cash, food, water, emergency healthcare, sanitation and hygiene, and critical nutrition services for Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable people.”
The program will develop strong feedback and accountability channels to ensure that it is responsive to any changes in the context and beneficiaries’ concerns are heard.
Risk Communication on COVID-19 will be mainstreamed throughout all activities and will be expanded to include vaccination information when appropriate. The program will be implemented in line with the Government of Zimbabwe and World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 regulations.